Throughout the history of the United States, race has been central to Americans’ thinking about sex, and vice versa. In the early days of colonization, Europeans used ideas about sexuality to separate themselves from both the native peoples that they encountered and the Africans that they brought to the so-called “New World” as human chattel. Before long, they turned to the law to institute the color line in colonial social and sexual relations. In this way, they used sex to establish white supremacy as a governing principle in the American colonies, one that has continued to shape popular thinking about race and sexuality up to the present day. Indeed, advances in Black freedom have consistently been met with white fears about interracial sex. But white thinking about race and sex has also been shot through with the twin impulses of disgust and desire. Even as they worked to erect and maintain the color line, whites remained pruriently interested in the sexuality of racial others.